According to the Edelman Trust Report, 65% of customers see credibility in someone like themselves in your organisation – up 22% from 2011. Only 38% trust the CEO – down 12%. This decline in the CEO trust is the largest since Edelman started doing this work.
Making “the ordinary people” in your organisation engaged social employees means that your organisation’s brand reputation is more likely to be improved than when the CEO stands up and says you’re all great.
The public’s expectations of a trusted organisation rank the following (first is the most important) facets:
- Listens to customer needs and feedback (67%)
- Offers high quality products or services (67%)
- Treats employees well (64%)
- Places customers ahead of profits (62%)
- Take responsible actions to address an issue or crisis (62%)
- Has ethical business practices (60%)
- Has transparent and open business practices (60%)
- Communicates frequently and honestly on the state of its business (57%)
What does this list tell us? It tells us that listening, ethical, caring, communicative and transparent organisations is what customers want. By implication, organisations that behave in these ways will succeed.
How do organisations achieve these characteristics?:
- By becoming a social business where the culture of the organisation encourages these facets.
- By a senior exec close to the customer’s needs leading the breaking down of the organisational barriers to achieve openness and transparency
- By recognising that the employees in the organisation are the people that your customers really listen to when they are seeking to trust your organisation.
I’d recommend anyone interested in social business transformation to take a look at the Edelman report and consider how IBM’s AGENDA for Social Business can provide practical steps to achieve these ends. Check out Sandy Carter’s slide deck on Slideshare, below: